Baby Boomer’s Letter to Their Financial Planner August 2007

I thought I might publish my initial letter to my financial planner so you can see why I decided to remove my money from my WRAP Account and put it in cash. I gave my retirement nest egg money to my financial planner in November 2006.

By about May of 2007 I was getting concerned about how it was being managed. The returns were not good and as time went on I became very nervous about the stock market. After having managed my own retirement funds for the previous ten years I didn’t want to become paranoid about not being in control.

I also thought I had handed my money over to one of the top Fund Managers in Australia. But my confidence was sinking fast. Then I got to a point where I had to write a formal letter of complaint to them. Here is a copy of that letter with the fund manager details hidden as I really don’t want to get into a public fight with them which I do not have the resources to win.

Note I wrote this letter on 25th August 2007 just after the first sub prime crash from I think it was Bear Stearns. Although at the time I wasn’t really aware of what was happening in the US. I just got lucky, but my over 10 years trading experience made me concerned about the stock market.

25 August 2007

Mr XXXXXX

XXXXXXXXX Wealth Management

Australia

Dear Mr XXXXXXX,

Questions and Concerns with my XXXXXXX Wrap Account

I am writing to you as my financial planner with XXXXXX to express my concern and disappointment over the way XXXXXXX is managing my Wrap Account. I would like you to take my complaints to the people in charge of looking after my Wrap Account. I would like responses to my concerns from them in writing please.

But first let me state I am very happy with the way you have conducted yourself personally with respect to handling my portfolio. You have responded to my questions about my portfolio in a prompt and professional way.

My concerns are more with the back office and how they communicate with me through the on-line account information I am provided.

The Distributions are still not in the Portfolio

I understood that the distributions are supposed to be in my portfolio within 28 day of the date they are due. They appear to be in my Account now. There was no indication when I would be getting them.

The only communication I have is a one line sentence in red on my Portfolio page that reads:

“Please note: Your current Portfolio Value may be understated due to distributions owing but not yet received.” (Note RED is Rude in Netiquette so I am told)

I can understand the desire to make it known to me. But an old, single, undated and unsigned sentence in red is not good enough. I may be a small investor with XXXXXXX but I do deserve respect. These are my life savings I have entrusted to XXXXXXX.

Poor Communication Methods

I have already mentioned my surprise that email is not used. But with respect the XXXXXXX Portfolio Wrap Web site is missing some key items.

The phone number is very hard to find and it is for the Fund Manager NOT the XXXXXXX. My Account is with XXXXXXX so when I have a problem I want to talk to them. Can someone please put the phone number “prominently” on the page next to the XXXXXXX name?

A contact email is missing too. The Support Tab does not display any contact information. It’s as if the Web site has been designed without any regard for the client. Can someone please put a “Contact Us” Tab on the page and give us both email and phone numbers. If nothing else it is just good manners.

Profit/Loss Report

Can I ask why there is no Profit/Loss report on the Account Report List? It seems to me the one thing I am concerned about is – “Is my Capital being protected?” All I see is a list of the Funds with lots of information about the units but nothing about each Funds performance. Am I missing something?

The One Important Question

I would like to know if I decided to take my money out of XXXXXXX Wrap today what the exact amount I will get is. Please itemise any fees and charges for terminating my Wrap Account too. This is the only way I believe I can find out the exact financial position of the Portfolio.

Many Other Questions

I have many other questions but I think it more important to see if I can get responses to my concerns expressed in this letter first.

I appreciate any help you can give me as my financial adviser, to get these matters resolved.

In Summary

At a time when there is a lot of volatility in the markets in the wake of the Sub-Prime Loans problems in the USA it is important to me to know exactly where my portfolio stands so I can make decisions about any actions I may want to take with it. XXXXXXX was chosen by me for its high level of professionalism. All I am asking is to be kept fully informed of what is happening to my Portfolio and to be assured that XXXXXXX are using all the tools at their disposal to protect my Capital first and foremost during these turbulent times.

Thank you

Regards,

David J. Bates

I’ll tell you the response in the next Posts.

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